|Publication number||US20040237530 A1|
|Application number||US 10/446,870|
|Publication date||Dec 2, 2004|
|Filing date||May 29, 2003|
|Priority date||May 29, 2003|
|Also published as||CA2466759A1, CA2466759C, US7415828|
|Publication number||10446870, 446870, US 2004/0237530 A1, US 2004/237530 A1, US 20040237530 A1, US 20040237530A1, US 2004237530 A1, US 2004237530A1, US-A1-20040237530, US-A1-2004237530, US2004/0237530A1, US2004/237530A1, US20040237530 A1, US20040237530A1, US2004237530 A1, US2004237530A1|
|Original Assignee||Isabelle Brown|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (11), Referenced by (2), Classifications (7), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates to fuel nozzles for gas turbine engines and, more particularly, to a protective sheath assembly for such fuel nozzles.
 2. Description of the Prior Art
 Fuel nozzles for gas turbine engines are well known in the prior art. Such conventional fuel nozzles are used to supply fuel to a combustion chamber which is provided for igniting the fuel mixture, thereby producing the energy which is used to power the engine. Generally, the combustion chamber includes a plurality of fuel nozzles to thus ensure a proper distribution of the fuel mixture within the combustion chamber.
 Conventional fuel nozzles include an inlet fitting, which is coupled to a fuel manifold, and a stem defining a number of fuel passages for directing fuel from the inlet fitting to a tip assembly adapted to atomize the fuel delivered to the combustion chamber. A particular problem with gas turbine fuel nozzles is that the nozzles are located in a hot area of the engine. This heat can cause the fuel passing through the nozzle stem to rise in temperature sufficiently that the fuel can carbonize or coke. Such coking can clog the nozzle and prevent the nozzle from spraying properly. Accordingly, fuel nozzles are typically provided with a protective sheath or heat shield which surrounds the nozzle stem to form an annular air gap thereabout. The sheath and the air gap provide thermal insulation to the fuel nozzle stem in order to prevent the fuel flowing therethrough from coking.
 Various methods have been developed to physically attach the protective sheath to the fuel nozzle. For instance, it has been proposed to permanently secure the sheath to the fuel nozzle by brazing or welding the open upper end of the sheath to an enlarged neck provided on the nozzle stem. It has also been proposed to clamp the sheath to the nozzle stem. According to this sheath attachment method, the clamp surrounds the upper end of the sheath to clamp the sheath against the enlarged neck of the nozzle stem. It has also been proposed to secure the sheath to the nozzle stem by means of radial pins extending through the sheath and pressure fitted into the nozzle stem.
 The above-described sheath attaching methods are generally of a permanent nature and require the use of tools to install the sheath on the fuel nozzle. It would be highly beneficial to have a non-permanent sheath attaching method and arrangement by which the sheath could be readily installed and removed without requiring any tools.
 It is therefore an aim of the present invention to provide a new gas turbine fuel nozzle heat shield assembly, wherein the heat shield is properly attached to the fuel nozzle yet allowing the heat shield to be easily removed without damaging the fuel nozzle.
 It is also an aim of the present invention to provide a new fuel nozzle protective sheath assembly which can be readily installed onto a fuel nozzle without the use of tools.
 Therefore, in accordance with the present invention, there is provided a gas turbine fuel nozzle comprising a body, a sheath adapted to surround said body, and a snap-on device for releasably retaining said sheath on said body, said snap-on device being displaceable between a first position for allowing said sheath to be fitted over said body and a second position for retaining said sheath in place about said body.
 In accordance with a further general aspect of the present invention, there is provided a sheath assembly for a gas turbine engine fuel nozzle, the sheath assembly comprising a tubular sheath adapted to surround at least a portion of the fuel nozzle, and a retaining device adapted to releasably hold said sheath in place on the fuel nozzle, said retaining device being displaceable between a first position for allowing said sheath to be fitted over said fuel nozzle and a second position for retaining said sheath in position on said fuel nozzle.
 In accordance with a still further general aspect of the present invention, there is provided a gas turbine engine fuel nozzle comprising a tubular sheath removably mounted to a fuel nozzle stem by a snap ring retained in grooves formed in the nozzle stem and the tubular sheath.
 In accordance with a still further general aspect of the present invention, there is provided a gas turbine engine fuel nozzle comprising a nozzle body, a detachable protective sheath, and a deflectable sheath retainer adapted to releasably engage a catch, said deflectable sheath retainer being disposed on one of said body and said sheath, and said catch being disposed on another one of said body and said sheath.
 In accordance with a still further general aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for removably mounting a sheath to a gas turbine fuel nozzle, the method comprising the steps of: a) providing a snap-on retainer on the gas turbine fuel nozzle, and b) sliding the sheath over a stem portion of said fuel nozzle until the sheath snap into engagement with said snap-on retainer.
 In accordance with a further general aspect of the present invention, the snap-on retainer includes a spring-loaded ring and step a) comprises the steps of: machining a peripheral groove in a said stem portion of said fuel nozzle, and placing said spring-loaded ring in said peripheral groove prior to sliding said sheath over said stem portion.
 In accordance with a still further aspect of the present invention, the method further comprises the step of: machining a groove in an inner surface of said sheath for receiving said spring-loaded ring.
 Having thus generally described the nature of the invention, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, showing by way of illustration a preferred embodiment thereof, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a side view, partly broken away, of a gas turbine engine to which an embodiment of the present invention is applied;
FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of a fuel nozzle and heat shield assembly in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the fuel and heat shield assembly once assembled;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged side view, partly in section, illustrating how the heat shield is retained in place on the fuel nozzle; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional side view illustrating a nozzle stem having a rounded stem neck in accordance with a further general aspect of the present invention.
FIG. 1 illustrates a gas turbine engine 10 generally comprising in serial flow communication a fan 12 (not provided with all types of engine) through which ambient air is propelled, a multistage compressor 14 for pressurizing the air, a combustor 16 in which the compressed air is mixed with fuel and ignited for generating an annular stream of hot combustion gases, and a turbine 18 for extracting energy from the combustion gases. Although a turbofan engine has been shown, it is noted that the present invention could used in other types of gas turbine engine, such as turboprops, turboshafts, Auxiliary power units and industrial gas turbine engines.
 The combustor 16 typically comprises a combustion chamber 20 and a plurality of fuel nozzles (only one being shown at 22), which are typically equally spaced about the circumference of the combustion chamber 20 in order to permit a substantially uniform temperature distribution in the combustion chamber 20 to be maintained. In use, the fuel provided by a fuel manifold (not shown) is atomized by the fuel nozzles into the combustion chamber 20 for ignition therein, and the expanding gases caused by the fuel ignition drives the turbine 18 in a manner well known in the art.
 As shown in FIG. 2, each fuel nozzle 22 is protected against heat by a heat shield or protective sheath assembly 24. The fuel nozzle 22 is generally of conventional design and comprises an inlet fitting 26 adapted to be connected to an engine manifold (not shown), a tip assembly or atomizing nozzle 28 for spraying or atomizing the fuel into the combustion chamber 20, and a nozzle stem 30 extending between and fluidly interconnecting the inlet fitting 26 and the atomizing nozzle 28. A flange 32 extends laterally outwardly from the upstream end of the stem 30. Holes 34 are defined in the flange 32 to enable the fuel nozzle to be securely mounted to the case of the combustion chamber 20.
 The stem 30 has an enlarged neck portion 36 directly underneath the flange 32. A circumferentially extending groove 38 is machined in the outer surface of the neck portion 36 for receiving a snap ring 39 forming part of the protective sheath assembly 24. As best seen in FIG. 4, the portion of the neck 36 below the groove 38 has a frustoconical profile defining a ramp 40 for facilitating the installation of the snap ring 39 in the groove 38 by sliding the ring 39 over the stem until the ring 39 captively falls into the groove 38. The snap ring 39 is made of a springy metallic material and is design to be received with a loose fit in the stem groove 38.
 As shown in FIG. 2, the protective sheath assembly 24 further comprises an open ended tubular shield or sheath 42 adapted to be removably mounted to the fuel nozzle 22 so as to define an annular air gap about the stem 30. The sheath 42 and the annular air gap 44 (see FIGS. 3 and 4) provide thermal insulation to the stem 30 in order to prevent the fuel flowing therethrough from coking.
 The sheath 42 is preferably of unitary construction and is cylindrical in shape. The sheath 42 has an inner circumferential wall 46 extending from a lower end 48 to an upper end 50. As shown in FIG. 3, the lower end 48 is machined to define a round shaped opening 52 for accommodating the angled tip atomizing assembly 28 of the fuel nozzle 22. The upper end 50 has a circumferential shoulder 54 extending about a circular opening 56. A circumferential shallow groove 58 is defined in the inner surface of the sheath 42 at the level of the shoulder 54 for snap engagement with the snap ring 39 in order to releasably axially retain the sheath 42 on the fuel nozzle stem 30. The inner surface 46 of the sheath 42 at the upper end 50 thereof is machined so as to define a chamfer 60 (FIG. 4) for allowing the snap ring 39 to be initially contracted radially inwardly when pushed by the sheath 42 while the same is being slid over the nozzle stem 30 towards its final position.
 The sheath 42 is installed on the fuel nozzle 22 by first placing the snap ring 39 into the stem groove 38. This is done by sliding the ring 39 axially along the nozzle stem 30 to the groove 38. The ring 39 is gradually expanded while moving along the ramp 40 before returning back to its rest or unsolicited position upon reaching the groove 38. Once in the groove 38, the ring 39 loosely surrounds the stem 30 so as to provide enough play for the ring 39 to be radially contracted towards the central axis of the nozzle stem 30.
 The sheath 42 is then slid onto the nozzle stem 30 (in the direction indicated by arrow 61 in FIG. 1) until the chamfer 60 engages the snap ring 39. As the sheath 42 continues to move along the stem 30, the ring 39 is circumferentially compressed inward (ring gap is closed) in the stem groove 38. When the sheath 42 reaches its final position, the snap ring 39 expands back into the sheath groove 58, retaining the sheath 42 in position for installation of the nozzle assembly on the engine. Note that a guide pin or the like (not shown) can be used to ensure proper alignment of the sheath 42 with the tip assembly 28, as know in the art.
 As best seen in FIG. 4, the snap-ring 39 has a round cross-section, which matches the outline of the sheath groove 58. The rounded cross-sectional shape of the snap-ring 39 advantageously provides for easy removal of the sheath 42 by simply pulling it off the assembly. The sheath can be reinstalled back onto the fuel nozzle assembly or replaced by a similar one if need be.
 As shown in FIG. 5, the rounded cross-sectional shape of the snap-ring 39 introduces the novel concept of a rounded stem neck 41 which allows assembly of one piece sheaths, such as sheath 42, onto gas turbine nozzles having a large nozzle tip angle A. In some nozzle configurations, the nozzle tip axis A is so large that in order to install the one piece sheath 42 onto the nozzle assembly, the sheath 4 has to be slid at an angle B from the nozzle stem axis. The rounded neck 41 allows assembly of greater combination of angles A and B.
 The above-described non-permanent sheath attachment method provides for a tool-free installation/removal of the sheath 42, which constitutes another major advantage over know techniques.
 The utilisation of a snap-ring, which is retained captive between the sheath 42 and the nozzle stem 30, for removably holding the sheath 42 on the fuel nozzle 22 is also advantageous in that it provides a very compact sheath retaining arrangement.
 However, it is understood that the present invention is not limited to the utilization of a snap-ring and that other types of deflectable or spring-loaded sheath engaging member or retainer could be used for providing releasable attachment of the sheath on the fuel nozzle assembly. Also, various types of catches could be provided on the protective sheath or on the fuel nozzle assembly for releasable engagement with a corresponding sheath retainer.
 The present invention is also advantageous in that mis-assembly of the sheath 42 can be easily detected by the sheath 42 not being properly retained/attached to the fuel nozzle 22 upon removal of the nozzle 22 from the combustion case 20. The sheath 42 can be easily removed for overhaul and maintenance purposes. Furthermore, the sheath 42 and the snap ring 39 are simple and inexpensive to manufacture and assemble.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7481248 *||Sep 15, 2004||Jan 27, 2009||Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.||Flexible heat shields and method|
|US20140033724 *||Aug 3, 2012||Feb 6, 2014||Elias Marquez||Fuel nozzle assembly and methods of assembling same|
|International Classification||F23R3/28, F23R3/60|
|Cooperative Classification||F23R3/283, F23R3/60|
|European Classification||F23R3/60, F23R3/28B|
|May 29, 2003||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: PRATT & WHITNEY CANADA CORP., CANADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BROWN, ISABELLE;REEL/FRAME:014129/0870
Effective date: 20030515
|Jan 25, 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4